Growing up I guess I never realized the vast number of secrets I carried. My entire being actually being the biggest. I never realized that my parents marriage was a secret from my fathers children with his second wife. I never knew I was a hidden secret. It’s funny how you realize these things as you age.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was towards the end of my 2nd grade year when my step brother (and yes I shall call him what he is.) made a comment as we rode in the back of a truck on a trip to Colorado. He asked me how my father was even my dad when he didn’t even pay taxes on me. This was the first time I ever remember thinking why would anyone question if he’s my dad. Looking back now, I see he was confused and trying to make sense of how this girl, that lived an hour away could be his sister when she lived with a totally different family.
I was 14 when I was with my dad at Christmas time. The first and only time he ever had me stay with his family. I was standing in the store they owned and their ” very good friends” stopped in to chat with them and thought I was a customer. When they explained that no I was his daughter from a first marriage the shock was clear on their faces. They were their very good friends and never knew of my existence.
I was 18 when my half brother told me they hadn’t known long that my step brother had a different father. I remember it was around that same time my grandmother told me that she and my step mother had seen him at a casino.
I knew the day we buried my grandmother that my relationship with him was over. And I was right. He never wanted to be a part of my life. And now he moves away from me to escape the keeper of all the secrets. I guess I’ve never been good at keeping secrets. I guess I never felt the need to hide who I was. However, I have felt the anger, resentment, and bitterness of watching the man that should have been there for me instead raise someone else’s child. This didn’t make me want to keep his secret. It made me want to jump and scream and shout in the streets that I existed. I mattered. And that I was more than deserving. I went through hell at the hands of the one that should have protected me. Through his abandonment he allowed all the hell I experienced in my young life to happen.
I am the shame of his past. I am the one he wishes never existed. I am his greatest mistake.
Sad but true. So now, why all of these years later can I not move past it. Why at 33 years of age, can I not let go the mistakes of he made.
That’s simple. The mistakes he made scared me. The mistakes he made claimed me to never be good enough,, to always expect people to walk out, to always expect the worse because there is no one that will ever be there to protect me again. He didn’t break me. He destroyed me from the very beginning. And he sends me notes in the mail that say there is no end to a fathers love and my question to this stranger is when the hell did he ever start loving me. A note that says there is no end to a fathers love will never replace the letter he wrote saying he wanted nothing more to do with me when I was 14 years old.
And to say I’m the only child that has ever felt this way? That would be a miracle. Unfortunately, there are millions out there just like me. The divorced kids as we were called when we were growing up. The kids that were never hidden from life’s truths. The ones that see the world as clearly as it is because it’s the harsh reality in which they were raised. My father raised me. He raised me the day he walked out and I had to learn to stand alone.
You see, I am the keeper of the secrets. I know the truth because I could never be hidden from it. I’m the keeper of the secrets because I am the secret.